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News > Investors

CDC backs Liquid Telecom with $180m investment

Africa Global Funds
Dec. 11, 2018, 9:50 p.m.

Word count: 487

CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has invested $180m in Liquid Telecom, the largest independent fibre and cloud provider in Africa. 

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CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has invested $180m in Liquid Telecom, the largest independent fibre and cloud provider in Africa. 

This is CDC’s first direct investment in an African telecoms company in over 20 years and its largest single investment since it acquired the pan-African power company, Globeleq in early 2015.

Nick O’Donohoe, CDC’s CEO said: “Digital infrastructure is still a major problem for Africa’s governments, people and its businesses, so improving access to affordable and quality internet is central to Africa’s development and economic growth.” 

“Our investment in Liquid Telecom plays an important part in addressing infrastructure bottlenecks and helps bring about the innovation and efficiency gains that result from better internet access. CDC’s capital will enable Liquid Telecom to reach more countries in the continent, helping to connect millions more people and businesses. Africans have benefited hugely from the local mobile phone industry that CDC backed twenty years ago, and we have similar hopes for our investments in Africa’s growing digital infrastructure.”

CDC’s investment will enable Liquid Telecom to expand broadband connectivity to some of the most underserved markets across Africa and will support the continent’s thriving tech start-up ecosystem with high-speed internet and cloud-based services.

Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, approaching 70,000km, across 13 countries.  

It also operates state-of-the-art data centres and is a leading provider of cloud-based services across Africa. 

Liquid Telecom serves mobile operators, carriers, businesses, media and content companies and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity, hosting and co-location and digital services. 

It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi. 

This is in addition to offering cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365, Microsoft Azure and innovative digital content provision including Netflix and Kwesé TV across its fibre network.

CDC’s investment will enable Liquid to for the first time connect Cape Town to Cairo, and to expand in Central and Western Africa, including some markets which lack affordable and reliable broadband today like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan.

Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom, said: “Our vision is to give every individual on the African continent the right to be connected by bringing reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity and cloud services to all. This includes businesses and communities in some of the most remote parts of the continent.”

“We welcome CDC Group’s investment of $180m with Liquid Telecom since it will enable us to accelerate expansion along our award-winning Cape-to-Cairo route and further into Central and Western Africa. Once completed, it will bring significant economic and social benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to supporting national economies, creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies. This is aligned to the vision of our Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa to not only connect Africa from North to South, but also from East to West.”

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